THat Honorable man, your Predecessor, was taken hence, not without great damage both to the Church and Commonwealth. The King lost a most wise Counseller, and the Church a faithfull Pastor; but I a Patron and a friend; who, though he was most carefull and desirous of my good yet, oblig’d me more by his Virtues, then his benefits. I have his Letters by me, which he wrote to me when he was sick, and his recovery was almost desperate; the very sight wherof doth exceedingly afflict me. But yet my grief was not a little eas’d, when I heard that you succeeded in his room, whose learning I long since admir’d, and of whose good affection I had great experience, when I was with you. Indeed, his most judicious Majestie did not stick long upon his choice. You were even then design’d his Successor, in the judgment of all who knew the wisdome of the King. May it, I beseech God, prove happy and fortunate to your self, to the Church, and Kingdom. May He grant you, with increase of Honor, increase of Virtue, and a fresh and lively old age: That his most Gracious Majestie may long enjoy you for his Counseller, and the Church daily reap more and more fruits of your industry and vigilance.
I wrote a Book touching the Calling of Pastors, wherin some passages greiv’d the soul of your most wise King, as if they were averse to the Office of Episcopacy. But, indeed, on the other side, our Countrymen complain not a little, that I vndertook the cause of Bishops; and condemnd Aerius, who, in a matter anciently, and universally receivd, durst oppose himself against the Practise of the Catholik Church. And they take it in ill part, that I said, that it was generally receivd in the Church, even from the first successors of the Apostles, that, among the Presbyters of a City, some one should have the preeminence and be call’d the Bishop, But, though there be many things in my Book, which the King set a dash of his dislike upon, which, as all things els, he observed wisely and with an incredible sharpness of wit, yet, Three things there are, which specially offend Him.
The First is, that, I said, that the Names of Bishop and Presbyter are promiscuously taken, in the New Testament, for one and the same.I
The Second, that, I affirm’d, that there is but one and the same Order of Presbyter, and Bishop.II III
I confess, these things were wrote by me: which, lest they be drawn to a wrong sense, or be taken in the worser part, take, I pray, briefly my meaning in them.I II
Howbeit, that this Episcopal Degree and Prerogative is by Ecclesiastical, not by Divine Right, I confess it was said by me. For beside that to speak otherwise then I thought, had not been the part of an vpright honest man, you, according to your wonted goodness, will easily judg, that a French man, living vnder the Polity of the French Church, could not speak otherwise, but he must incur the censure of our Synods, and vnder the danger (
καθαιρεσεως) of degrading, be forced to a recantation. For to think that our Churches do err in points of Faith, and in that which is of Divine Right were, questionles, to brand them with the note of Heresy, and to shake the conscience of many weak ones.
Truly, I came very vnwillingly to the writing of this Book, but our Church requiring it, and lately enforcing me, for to stop the insolency of our Adversaries, who in this point insult over vs out of all temper, and speak of vs as of so many doltish mushrums, newly sprung out of the earth, and as of a company of base fellows who by force and tumult had got the Pulpit. But, howsoever, I think, I have kept such a temper, that, in defending our own, I have not struck at your government; nor by immoderate affection to a part have inclined, more then was meet, to either side. Nor did I ever mention the Bishops of England with out due honor.
Paris. Nones of Sept.
Your Honors most devoted
The Bishops Answer.
I Had wrote these in the begining of March, and was about to send them presently; when, lo, the indisposition of the King, in point of health, made me lay them by, and hindred my sending of them. This sickness, contracted first by grief, for the death of his most dear Consort, our most Gracious Queen, and the neglect of all care of his body upon that greif, ended at last in a diseas; a diseas, indeed, so intricat and doubtfull, that the Physitians themselves were at a stand what the event would be. Wherby I forgat that I wrote, and so omitted to send to you. For all I had to do was to fall to my prayers, with many more, who were sore perplexed, as then in jeopardy, for a most Gracious King. But God lookd upon us, and restord Him to us, & in Him us to our selves. And now, being returnd to my self, I return to you, what I confess, I have bin too long indebted to you in; so that, as a bad debtor, I was fain to be calld vpon, by Monsieur Beaulieu, in your name. You will accept of this my too just excuse, kindly, as you are wont; and promise your self, from me, what good offices one friend can do another.
Now concerning your Book. You write that some passages therin greivd the Kings Soul. And no wonder. For his soul is tender, and very sensible of any thing in that kind that bites or stings. For, out of His Piety to God, He makes it not the least of His cares to tender the Peace and Order of His Church here. And therfore, in His great wisdom, He presently discernd, whether these Three points tended.
I. The name of Bishop is not distinct from that of Presbyter.I
II. The Order is not distinct, that is, not the Thing it self.II
III. And so the whole [matter] is not any thing of Divine Right.III
What could they, who lately made all the stirrs among us, mutter more, possibly? Then, that 1. the Name is taken confusedly. that 2. the Thing is not distinct. 3. Finally, that it is a Human invention: being setled by man may be unsetled, and so stands or falls at the pleasure of the Commonwealth. These Dictats are too well known to the King: He hath been long usd to them: They have long since on all hands been rounded in His ears. He knows that there are still among us such, as will from your writings presently take a new occasion, perhaps, not to pluck up this Order of ours, that for so many ages hath taken root but, surely, to defame and calumniat it.
And this so much the rather, because, at one and the same time, not by agreement, I beleeve, but yet as though vpon a compact, lo, one Bucer, a fellow not hurt, nor medled with by any, in a very unseasonable time, set forth a Book in Latin, as it were, of the same argument. What King, that studies the Peace, not only of His own Church, but, which He desireth, and would purchase at a dear rate, even of the whole Christian world, would not these things trouble? Wherfore, if the King set a dash of dislike upon those passages, take it not ill: I dare say, He had rather set many asterisks of commendation, then one dash of dislike, specially upon what is your.
This, surely, is the Kings mind; and is (as it ought to be) the mind and sense of vs all. Wherin I appeal to your own equity. You were for manteining of Your Churches Government, and the repressing of your adversaries insolency: should you not do it, you should incurr the censure of your Synod, and be forced either to recant, or fear to be degraded. In this We pardon you, and demand the like pardon from you; that it may be lawfull for us also to defend our Government, as becometh upright honest men. For we likewise have froward adversaries; and there are consciences, too, among us, which we may not suffer to be shaken or undermind, as though they liv’d under another form of Church Government, then was from the begining, even from the very times of the Apostles. And we are ready, if need be, and occasion shall serve, to make this good to the whole Church.
How I wish therfore, that you had not so much as touchd upon our Church Government. For who put you upon it? You might have turnd your weapons against those enemys (you speak of) and never have jerkt at us. Theres no such complication of ours with yours, but that you might easily have pass’d by ours with silence, And
A faithfull silence hath its sure reward.
Concerning those Three points, if you demand (as you do) what I think, I shall give you here this ingenuous answer; That the Names of Bishop and Presbyter are taken promiscuously in Holy Scriptures: that at first, there was not so great force in the Words, I shal easily grant you. Nor did his Majestie regard so much, what you said, as to what purpose; as what others would catch from thence; who, both in other parts, & here among us, too, are not rightly affected to this our order: that these things were spoke to this purpose, as if the Names being promiscuous, the Things themselves were so also. For to what end is it, of what concernment, to speak of Words taken confusedly, when the Things are distinct. No man, lightly, carps at the Name, but he that wisheth not very well to the Thing also.I
1. And yet nothing here hath befallen Bishops, which hath not befallen those other Orders also. For, in those very places, in those very Authors whom you name, it is said in like manner also of Deacons. a Even a Bishop is called a Deacon: wherupon S. Paul, writing to Timothy, said to him, though a Bishop, Fullfill thy Deaconry. From thence you may gather, that the Names of Bishop and Deacon are taken for the same. Nay, the very Apostles themselves call themselves sometimes Presbyters, sometimes Deacons, and so their whole Office a Deaconry; and yet is not Deacon or Presbyter the same that Apostle. Why therfore did you not add that too, that it might appear that the other suffered as much as Bishops: and that, in the begining, not only the names of Bishops, but of other Orders also were taken, in like manner, promiscuously; wheras the Things, the Offices themselves were distinct.a S. Chrysost. in ed. Philip c. 1.
2. Wheras, then, in those very places, where the Fathers speak so, [That then they communicated in Names] they presently apply a remedy, and give this item, that the Things themselves are otherwise. And instantly add [Afterward the proper name was given to each; of Bishop to a Bishop, of Presbyter to a Presbyter.] By the rule of speech then, who would urge the common name, when the proper had taken place? For no body would now call a King, a Tyrant; or a Souldier, [Latronem] as of old they were wont, a Robber: neither, sure, would they call a Presbyter, a Bishop; as when S. Hierom wrote, had he called himself Bishop, and S. Augustine Presbyter, you know, he would have been laughed at for his pains.
The next is touching the Order. Where, I pray, consider, whether they be to be called One and the same Order, whose Offices are not one and the same. But that they are not the same Offices, even they who less favour the Episcopal Order do confess, in that they ever except Ordination. Again, whether they be to be called One and the same Order, wherin there is not One and the same, but a new and distinct Imposition of hands. For, that in all Antiquity there was Imposition of hands upon Bishops, no man, I think, will deny. And, whether the Antient Church were of this opinion, let Isidore be the witness, who b in plain words calls it the Order of Bishoprick.II b Etym. 7. 12.
To the Schole, indeed, if you referr it, they do not agree among themselves. Your Altisiodorensis, our Major, and others are for the distinction of the Order. But they who are most against it, though they will not grant it a Sacrament of Orders (the whole force wherof they bound within the Eucharist) yet an Order they grant, since an Order is nothing else, but a Power to a special Act, (as, namely, to Ordain,) which is competible to Bishops only. For what a thing were this, if that, from whence Ordination, and so all other Orders proceed, should it self not be an Order?
For we pass not for the Church of Rome, or the Pontifical. If they please themselves with the name of Consecration, let them enjoy it. Even the Church of Rome it self did anciently speak otherwise. For instance; The Church of Rome, (saith Tertullian c) gives out that Clement was ordained by S. Peter. Otherwise also the Fathers, (even they, whom you allege,) even S. Hierom, d who affirms, that S. James, the brother of our Lord, was presently after the Passion of our Saviour ordained Bishop. And of Timothy; e Timothy had the gift of Prophecy, together with his Ordination to Episcopacy. S. Ambrose; f For unlawfull it was, and might not be, that the Inferior should ordain the superior; ( to wit, a Presbyter a Bishop. ) S. Chrysostom; g For Presbyters could not have ordained the Bishop. For the Latin word, Ordination, is agreable to the Greek,
χειροτονιας, and is often rendred by it: nor is any word more frequent, where mention is of making Bishops, then that of
χειροτονιας. Theodoret; h Titus was ordained by S. Paul Bishop of Creet.
But, you say, an Order is one thing, a Degree another. Yet you know that, in Holy Scriptures, these words are taken one for another, no less then those of Bishop and Presbyter: where the Deaconry is called,
βαθμος, a Degree; i which, notwithstanding, you will not, I know, deny to be an Order. You know also that it is so among the Fathers; among whom you may often read that a Deacon, or Presbyter may,
βαθμοῦ ἐκπίπτειν, fall from his Degree, and be degraded, no less then a Bishop. Indeed, every Order is a Degree; but not every Degree an Order. But both are in Episcopacy; though in one respect an Order, in another a Degree. A Degree, as it hath a superiority even without any power; an Order, as it hath a power to a special act. For, were it a Degree only, it had been enough to have used the word [
Πρεσβυτάτου] the superlative, which denotes a Degree superior to that of [
Πρεσβύτερον] Presbyter, the Comparative, neither would there have been need to fetch in a new word [
Επίσκοπος] a Bishop, meerly to design a Degree. For as touching Archbishops tis quite another reason: They are not indued with a power to any special act: For even they, if they were not Bishops before, receive their Ordination from Bishops: And, as they are Archbishops, they are not necessary to the Ordination of Bishops: for, by the Fourth Canon of the Council of Nice, Three Bishops together have power to ordain a Bishop.
From hence we have a fair passage to the last point: Whether this Order be by Divine Right. Very glad I was to hear it from you, That the Authority of Antiquity should be ever in great esteem with you. I love you for that word: Nor will it be the least of your praises, if your deeds make your words good. For my part it hath been my opinion ever, I was ever of that mind.III
(a) S. Hierom. de Scrip. 17. (b) Tertul. de Prasc. 32. (c) Oecum in Praefat. Titi. (d) S. Hier. de Scri.But, or I am deceiv’d in the whole story of Antiquity, or the Apostolical men, i. e. the Disciples of the Apostles, or (as Eusebius calls them)
ὁμιληταὶ, they that conversed with them, both they who are not mentioned in Holy Scripture (as Polycarpus and Ignatius,) and they who are expresly mentioned (as Timothy, Titus, Clemens,) were Bishops, while the Apostles were alive; and were constituted and ordained by the Apostles themselves. (a) Polycarp by S. John. (b) Clemens by S. Peter. (c) Titus and (d) Timothy by S. Paul.
(e) 3.3 (f) de Praesc 32. (g) 3.35. (h) de scrip 17. (i) 3.3. (k) de scrip. 16. (l) 3.4 (m) de scrip 9. (n) Praefat in 1. Tim (o) Phil. 1 (p) Haeres. 75. (q) 3.4 (r) Praef in Tit. (s) apud Oecum Praef in Ti. (t) de scrip 32. (u) 3. 14. (x) de scrip 15 (y) Euseb. 3.4 ex Dionys Corinth. & 4.23. & Hier. de scrip.19. (z) [Idem.] (a) Euseb. 3.35 ex Ignatio (b) Theodoret in Philip. 1.2. & 1 Tim 3. (c) Origen in 16 ad Roman (d) Calv. Institut.
(e) Euseb. 2.24.
(f) de scrip & Praef in S.Matth & S.Mar. (g) 2.1. (h) de Script c.2. (i) in Act.15 (k) in Gal.1.2. (l) Haeres 66. (m) contra Crescentium. 2.37I give you these witnesses. Concerning Polycarp: (e) Irenaeus; (f) Tertullian; (g) Eusebius; (h) Hierom. Concerning Ignatius: (i) Eusebius and (k) Hierom. Concerning Timothy: (l) Eusebius, (m) Hierom, (n) Ambrose, (o) Chrysostom, (p) Epiphanius. Concerning Titus; (q) Eusebius, (r) Ambrose, (s) Theodoret. Concerning Clement: (t) Tertullian, (u) Eusebius, (x) Hierom. Not to speak of (y) Linus, (z) Dionysius, (a) Onesimus, (b) Epaphroditus, (c) Caius, (d) Archippus; concerning whom we have the like testimonies of the Fathers. And not of these alone: even S. Mark the Evangelist, and that while the Apostles lived, who saw it; for S. Mark dyed in the (e) Eighth year of Nero, full Five years before S. Peter and S. Paul were crown’d with martyrdom. And not He alone, S. Iames also the Apostle. Witness for S. Mark, (f) Hierom: for S. Iames, (g) Eusebius (out of Clement and Hegesippus) (h) Hierom. (i) Chrysostom. (k) Ambrose. (l) Epiphanius. (m) Augustine.
Could any then take it ill, that you said, That Episcopacy was received, in the Church, from the very next times to the Apostles? you said too little: you might have said more, and, if you had, Antiquity would have born you out; that it was received from the Apostles themselves: and that they, the Apostles themselves, were constituted in the Episcopal Order. There was nothing in that passage of yours that any could be offended with, unless, haply, that in stead of [was called the Bishop] you should have said, was the Bishop. For we do not contend, about the Name; all the controversy is about the Thing.(n) l. 2 c. 1.
l. 3. c 5.
(o) de script. 2.
(p) de Praes. 32.
(q) l. 3. c. 35
(r) de script. 2. (s) in 2. ad Gal. (t) 1. Corin. 14
As for that where you would not have your papers to be ript up to the quick, I know no body here that doth it. Should any, he would have somewhat to stick upon in the very Title; take which word you will, that of Pastor, or that of Calling. They are both novelties; the word Pastor, (I’m sure, in this sense,) and Calling, too; and not of any Age, but this last, nor of all that. For, I pray, who of the Antients ever spake so? among whom you shall scarce find the word Pastor used, but when they speak of Bishops: which form of speech S. Peter taught them, when he joined Pastor and Bishop in our Saviour.1. S. Pet. 22.
Nor shall you ever read, that they, by that word, pointed out such as, either in City or Country, had the care of some few persons distinguished by Parishes: For that the Presbyters (Vrban, or Rural) were by the Bishop designed to that imployment. Who, indeed, at the begining, were of the Bishops family, and did live, as you very well know, of the Sportula [i. e. of the Oblations of the Church] before the distinction of Parishes came up.
And the word Calling (in the sense you take it) is altogether as unknown. In stead whereof they used the words Ordination or Constitution.
And the very name of Minister is of the same stamp: which they would never have understood to be spoken of any but a Deacon: as it is derived, indeed, from, no other fountain but, the Greek,
Διάκονος. But we must pardon you: you must speak the language of your Church, which hath no Bishops; another kind of Presbyters, [Elders they call them,] another kind of Deacons; and, I add, another kind of Calling, then ever the Antient Church acknowledged. I, for my part, in my best wishes for your Church, and so for all the Reformed do wish this, (that you may keep constant in the other points of Faith, but for Government and Order that God would vouchsafe to you no other but that which He hath vouchsafed Vs, i. e. by Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons. Such as those we read of in the Histories of the Church, and in the Councils, and the Antient Fathers: unto whom (or self-conceit shrewdly deceives me, or) most like are Our: most like, I say, in their Order, not in their Worth; but would to God in their Worth also. And that no Policy, no form of Government in any Church whatsoever cometh neerer the sense of scripture, or the manner and usage of the Antient Church, then this which flourisheth among us.
To the most Reverend Father , the Lord Bishop of Winchester.
Paris. XVI. Calends of Decemb. 1618.
Your Honors most devoted
The Bishops Answer to the Second Epistle.
THe Post was not yet gone, he staied here a day or two, but he had these letters, here inclosed, sealed up as they are; when, lo, I received your Second, by the hands of S. William Beecher, Agent for the King, lately come from you. I presently recalled my former, yet opened them not, but, as they were, inclosed them in these. For I would not so trespass as to commit the same fault again; but rather make amends for my former tardiness with the quickness of this Answer. You shall therfore with my First receive these Second; together with my thanks for both: but [
δευτεροπρώτους] the First Second, as it were; to wit, in these Second Letters my First thanks now, and in the First my Second, (as it falls out.) Thanks, I say, both for that your Book, formerly sent; and this Later, shortly, as I hope, to be sent. For S. William Beecher will deny either that it was bound (when he came thence) or els brought to him; and in that consideration he came the later to me: but he bad me look for it, for that I should not look in vain.
Hear me then, I pray. This is not enough for us, if a man do not reject Our Church Government, as a thing faulty or sinfull, for this is it We stand upon, that it may be clear and confessed by all, that the Government of our Church is such, as cometh most neer to the form and manner of the Antient Church, or (as you grant) that, next to the Apostles, or (as you had once wrote, and we contend for’t) of the Apostolick Church. And, that you are of the same judgment with us, I doubt not. If then, by your Churches leave, you would once speak out, you should do us a curtesie; if you may not, no discurtesie, if for the future you would let Our affairs alone. For, that way you are in, it will scarce be possible for you, both to please your own, and not to displease us. And yet, though Our Government be by Divine Right, it follows not, either that there is no salvation, or that a Church cannot stand, without it. He must needs be stone-blind, that sees not Churches standing without it: He must needs be made of iron, and hard hearted, that denys them salvation. We are not made of that metal, we are none of those Ironsides; We put a wide difference betwixt them. Somewhat may be wanting, that is of Divine Right, (at least in the external Government) and yet Salvation may be had. So that you shall not need to damn them to the pit of Hell, or pronounce the sentence of condemnation upon your flock. This is not to damn any thing, to preferr a better thing before it: This is not to damn your Church, to recall it to another form, that all Antiquity was better pleased with, i. e. to Our: but this, when God shall grant the opportunity, and your estate may bear it. If we do but agree upon this point, in all the rest we shall not fall out. But yet we wish not a concord, that is but pieced and patched up, but an intire, absolute agreement, without any piecing and patching: which, we doubt not but, you likewise wish with us.
London. Decemb. 12. 1618.
To the most Reverend and most worthy Prelate, the Lord Bishop of Winchester.
GReat Sir. I received your Letters, full both of choice stuff, and of the testimony of your good affection to me. For although you seem to be a little more moved then ordinary, yet that great sweetness, which you temper your reproofs with, puts me in hope that your goodwill is not lessned toward me, and that you will readily accept of this my satisfaction. It is to my great profit and honor to be taught by you; nor am I so sensless as to contend with a man of so great learning and worth. Neither indeed did I write to that end, that you should write to me again: for it is abundantly sufficient for me, if you take my Letters in good part. Nor are my writings of any such value, that they should beget you any trouble, or take you off from your more weighty affairs. If therfore any thing was written by me amiss, I am much indebted to that my error, which hath drawn from you so learned and accurate Letters, that no gold can value, and weigh against them; which I shal keep by me, while I live, as a most pretious
κειμήλιον and threasure.
Nevertheless, because you seem to me not to have reached my meaning in some passages of my former Letters, you will pardon me, if I endeavour in these to explain my mind a little more fully.
I said that the Names of Presbyter and Bishop are taken in the New Testament for one and the same.I
That the Order of Bishop and Presbyter is the same. II
That the difference between Bishop and Presbyter is but of Ecclesiastical, not of Divine Right.III
You deny not but the Names of Presbyter and Bishop are promiscuously taken in the New Testament. But, you say, to what purpose this? Forsooth, you think that I tacitly insinuate therby, that the Things likewise are promiscuous. For no man, likely, carps at the Name; but he that is ill affected to the Thing. And you add, that the Fathers, in those very places, wherin they teach that the Names are taken in the same sense, do presently apply a remedy, and add, that this afterward was otherwise, and that the Names, as well as the Offices, were and are distinct.I Libri de Munere Pastorali. p 20 & 21.
I come to the Second part of your censure. I said that there is but One Order of Bishop and Presbyter. You contrary-wise are of opinion that the Order of Bishops is another and diverse from that of Presbyters: and to that purpose bring many testimonies from the Fathers; who speak of the Ordination of Bishops: neither do I oppose; for the Antient’s speak so, indeed. And although the Roman Pontifical absteins from that word, yet the Antient Bishops of Rome did use it. Leo. then in his 87. Epistle, which is to the Bishops of the Province of Vienna, commandeth, that a Bishop, who is not rightly ordained, he displaced and, in the same Epistle, he often useth the same word. Now between an Order and a Degree you make this difference; that a Degree denotes only a Superiority; but an Order is a power to a special Act: That therfore every Order is a Degree; but not every Degree an Order. Very well. For though many do not observe this difference of words, yet it is best to use proper terms; that things which differ in substance, be distinguished in names, too. But these do not prejudice me at all. For you should have considered with your self, whom I have to deal with. I dispute against the Pontificians, who make Seven Orders; Door keepers, Readers, Exorcists, Acolyths, Subdeacons, Deacons, Presbyters: but the Order or character of Bishops they will by no means have to be diverse from that of Presbyters. Could I, disputing with them, use other words, then such as are receiv’d by them? Could I deal with them about the Order of Bishops, which they acknowledg not? Should I have inveigh’d against them for not making the Order of Bishops distinct from that of Presbyters, when our own Churches make it not? He that should do this, should not so much contest with the Church of Rome, as with our own. Then to what purpose is it to insist so much upon the distinction of Words? since every Order is, by S. Paul, call’d a Degree. Nor can a Bishop be depriv’d of his Orders, but he must be degraded, and fall from his Degree. I pray, weigh my words well: Every Bishop is a Presbyter, and a Priest of the Body of Christ; and of these the Church of Rome makes but one Order. It plainly appears that I do not in these words affirm, what ought to be beleeved, but what is the sense of the Church of Rome.II 1. Tim. 3.13. Lib. de Munere Pastorum pag. 144.
But heer somewhat falls in, which may beget a doubt. It is confess’d by all, that every Bishop is a Presbyter: but a Presbyter is not a Deacon. Hence it comes to pass, that there is another manner of difference betwixt a Bishop and a Presbyter, then betwixt a Presbyter and a Deacon. Since therfore a Presbyter differs in Order from a Deacon, it seems to follow that a Bishop differs not in Order from a Presbyter.
The Third point is still behind: to wit, that I said, that Episcopacy is by the most Antient Ecclesiastical, but yet not by Divine Right. You on the other side resolve and mantein that it is by Divine Right: and to that purpose produce many examples of Bishops, S. Mark; Timothy; Titus; Clemens; Polycarp; S. James, Bishop of Hierusalem; all who received the Order of Episcopacy from the Apostles themselves. And you quote a great number of Fathers, who affirm as much. (Learnedly all, and according to the truth of the Primitive Historys.) But what then? Why, say you, if Bishops were constituted by the Apostles, plain it is that the Order of Episcopacy is by Apostolical, and so consequently by Divine Right. This indeed is to make your self master of the whole strength of the cause. But that Axiom of yours [All things that are of Apostolical Right are likewise of Divine] seemes to me (by your good leave) to be liable to some exceptions. Many things were ordered about Ecclesiastical Policy, which even the Church of England acknowledgeth not to be of Divine Right, by not observing the same. S. Paul in i. Timoth. v. would have Deaconesses appointed in the Church: But this fashion was long ago out of date. The same S. Paul i. Corinth. xiv. would that, at the same hour, in the same Assembly, Three or Four should prophecy, i. e. as S. Ambrose understands it, Interpret the Word of God; and that the others should judg of what was spoken: which custome is long since ceased. The Apostles command, touching abstinence from things strangled and blood, was for many Ages observed by the Antient Church: witness the Apologetic of Tertullian, chap. ix. the Council of Gangra, Canon II. and the Trullan, Canon lxvii. and there is frequent mention of the same point in the Councils of Worms and Orleance. yet S. Augustine, in his xxxii. Book against Faustus, chap. xiii. saith that Observing hereof was generally neglected by the Christians; and that they who were posses’d with that scruple were laugh’d at by others. You have, not the Apostles alone, but even, that precept of Christ himself, Touching shaking off the dust of the feet, against the refusers of the Gospel. If any should now go about to lay the foundation of Christian Religion, among the Tartars or Sinenses, were he bound to observe that Rite against the refractory? Such things as appertain to Salvation and to Faith were ordered by the Apostles, by a Divine Inspiration; but in the rest they did often use their own prudence; as S. Paul intimates, 1. Corinth.7.25.III
You determine therfore that our Churches do offend against the Divine Right; yet so, as you exclude them not from hope of salvation: but do think, that, in our Church Government, men may attain to Salvation: for this you brought in, in your Second Letter, that you might deal the kindlier with us. But in your larger, you liken us, in this point, to Aerius; who, you say, was deservedly, upon this ground, by the Antients put in the black Book of Hereticks. Herein, Great Sir, I appeal to your equity. Think with your self, what streits you drive me to. For, if I should have spoke, as you conceive it, I could not but necessarily accuse our Church of Heresie; and so doing, be forced
συσκευάζειν, to be packing, to leave my station here, and to provide for my self as I could. Nor could I say that the Primacy of Bishops is by Divine Right but I should brand our Churches, (which have spilt so much blood for Christ) with Heresie. For, questionless, to be obstinately set against such things, as are of Divine Right, and peremptorily to gainsay what God commands, is downright Heresie, whether it concern Faith or Discipline. Besides that I should have overthrown that Principle, wherwith cheifly our Religion defends her self against Popery, viz. That what things are by Divine Right are sufficiently and evidently contein’d in the Holy Scriptures.
This may serve for the Three chief points: To which you further add this
ὲπίμετρον or corollary; namely, your iudgment touching the Title of my book, [which I wrote for France,] Of the Calling of Pastors. These words, you say, are novell, and never used by any of the Antients in this sense. I acknowledg, indeed, that the word Calling is unusual among the Antients, nor taken in that sense. But we Frenchmen speak otherwise: for as many as have wrote of that Argument, either Our, or Papists use this word: which, with us, signifies somewhat more then Ordination; for it is taken for the Office it self. If I had wrote in Latin, I should have given this Title, of the Office and Ordination of Pastors.
Neither would you have all Presbyters and Ministers of the Word of God, to be called by the name of Pastors. For this word, you say, belongs only to Bishops, (and that the Antients spake so.) If this be true, Worthy Sir, the Churches in France, Germany, Lowcountrys and Helvetia, are flocks without a Pastor. But S. Paul, Acts the xx commandeth the Presbyters of Ephesus, pascere, i. e. to be Pastors of the Church. v. 17. & 28. And S. Peter, in his 1. Epist. 5. ch. 1.2. v. The Presbyters, who are among you, I exhort, — Pascite, feed the flock of God, which is among you, taking the over-sight therof, not by constraint but willingly; not for filthy lucre: which exhortation to diligence, and shunning filthy lucre, no doubt, belongs also to the inferior Presbyters. Now to think that they ought not be called Pastors, whom God commands Pascere, to feed the flock, I cannot persuade my self. But, if the Word of God be Pabulum, the food of Souls, I see not why he should not be call’d a Pastor, who doth administer this food. S. Paul in the fourth to the Ephesians, verse, 11. makes an enumeration of Ecclesiastical Offices: God gave some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, some Pastors and Teachers. If Presbyters who labour in the Word, whom we Frenchmen call Ministers, be not understood under the name of Pastors, I see not what place they can have in this enumeration of the Apostle. S. Augustine, in his 59. Epistle, saith, that Pastors and Doctors, here, are the same. The same thinketh S. Hierom, upon this place of S. Paul. Vincentius Lirinensis, expounding this place, maketh no mention of Pastors, but comprehends them vnder Doctors, whom he calls Treatisers, who certainly were a different thing from Bishops. But that Bishops only are Doctors, I never yet read any where. S. Ambrose is so far from thinking the name of Pastors to belong only to Bishops, that he even calls Readers, Pastors. Readers, saith he, are, and may be Pastors, who fatten the souls of their Auditors with Reading. The term Pastor is usual among the Prophets: Prophet Isaiah. 56. 11. Prophet Ieremiah. 10. 21. and 22. 22. and 23. 1.2. Prophet Ezechiel. 34. 2. and Prophet Zachariah. 10. 3. Which places whosoever shall weigh in the even ballance of judgment, he shall find, that under the name of Pastors were reckon’d not only the cheif Priests, or the heads of the Levites but all the Prophets and Levites, upon whom the Office of teaching lay.
The Bishops Answer to the Third Epistle.
I Never could learn this trick of sawing, or (which is all one) of tossing replys. No, not, when my years were fitter for it. But now old age, which of it self is a diseas, and yet never cometh without diseases attending it, plucks me by the ear, and bids me get me out of this cockpit, and rank my self with them, whose whole business is Prayer. Nevertheless, because in this skirmishing, it hath happen’d to us both alike, viz, that we have not reach’d one anothers meaning, I shall, not unwillingly, more fully and plainly expound my mind to you, as you did your to me.
That which I first meet withall is but a slight matter; for I do not understand at all, how I was any whit more mov’d then ordinary. Neither do I remember ought of yours, that mov’d me more then ordinary; nay that mov’d me at all; but only that you said, that some passages of yours had griev’d the Kings soul. That word [greiv’d] greiv’d me somwhat, I confess, and mov’d me more then ordinary: Besides, nothing that I remember.
His Majestie had made three dashes upon your Book. Touching them you would know of me, what my mind was, what I thought. I answered, as was truth, where the King had made them, they ought to be made.
The first place, noted by the King, was that, concerning the passivity of the words, (as you speak.) I said it was justly noted. Here you did not reach my meaning; for you take it for all one, as if I had said that you therby did tacitly insinuate, I know not what. But that came not into my thoughts. I did not say, what you did therby insinuate, but what others would snatch at from thence. For, questionless, snatch at they will, as if you did insinuate, though you did not, as men are, and stand affected. I, for my part, do not deny, that those words are taken for one and the same; and so far you are right. This I deny, that those things which are right may all of them, safely, by any man, at any time, be committed to writing. For you must consider, not so much what you might mean there, as what others would snatch from thence. Our writings must be regulated by that of the Apostle, Not what is lawfull, but what is expedient. See you, whether this controversie be seasonable at this time; and whether it were advisedly done by you; and whether it be not expedient,
ὲκκόπτειν τὰς ἀφορμὰς, to cut off occasions from them, who earnestly snatch at all occasions of setting novelties afoot. Perhaps, I fear what is safe enough, but I fear though, lest, an occasion being taken from hence, those stirrs unhappily break out again, which seemed wholy to be made up among us.
Nor was I ever of that opinion, I never wrote it, that afterward it was otherwise done. That was not done otherwise afterward, which was done by the Apostles themselves. It is S. Chrysostoms: were there many Bishops in one City? by no means. It is S. Hieroms: For in one City there could not be many Bishops. It is Theodorets: It could not be, that there should be many Pastors in one City. Of what time are these to be understood? When were there not? When could there not be those many Pastors in one City? What, when S. Chrysostom, S. Hierom, Theodoret lived? doubtless, when the Apostle wrote that to the Philippians. I could not possibly say then, that that was done afterward, which they said was done, even when the Apostle lived and wrote.
I said, that the remedy was there applyed by the Fathers. You say that the same was applyed by you. Applyed, I grant; but truly, neither the same, nor in the same place.
For, 1. their [
προφθλακτικὴ] their preventive caution was premis’d before they spake. Your [
θεραπευτικὴ] yours is but a playster layd on, after the wound is made.
2. What you say by way of disjunction, viz. either immediatly after the time of the Apostles, or even in their time, that would not they have said so; but, as truth was, without any disjunction, without the former part. That it was done, in the very time of the Apostles, and by themselves.
3. Then, no where do they say, that any constitution was made about it. Nor do I think you will ever read of any such [
διατάξιν or] constitution, in any History. We read, indeed, in the Acts, that the Order of Deacons was constituted by them: of Presbyters, of Bishops, there was no constitution: for Bishops were formerly instituted by Christ in the Apostles; and Presbyters in the Seventy Two.
4. Nor only, that any was called Bishop, but that he was a Bishop. For there were no Titular Bishops then: they had their Name from their Office: they were called what they were; they were, what they were called.
5. Nor that should be only with preeminence, but that should be invested with power: power, I say, of Imposition of hands, of commanding, of receiving informations, of reproving.
6. Nor only, to take away Confusion, which is contrary to Order, but also to take away Schism, which is contrary to Vnity. Nor for these two only, but also for all other ends, for which, we said, that power was given.
You see that the Fathers had another gates remedy for this disease: and that those speeches of yours, It was constituted; That should be called; should have the preeminence; are too narrow; and I add, by your leave, too weak and dilute; nor the same with those, which are the ingredients of that medicine, which the Fathers made.
But yet I have a mind here to put the question; If Confusion commonly growes from Equality, how comes it to pass, that there is no need of this remedy among you?
Again; if it be true, that this Form of Government was received every where by all Churches; that, which was every where receiv’d by all, why doth not your Church receive? why doth She only run counter to all the Churches, which then were everywhere? For that is a most true word, you said, and deserv’d an asterisk of commendation, That all Churches everywhere receiv’d this Form of Government. Nor were there ever, before this Age, any Churches, which were governed by any other, then by Bishops.
Wherfore there was no cause at all, that you should go about to wipe off that suspition, (for I had none of you,) that you were not well affected to our Order. I shall never be induced to beleeve it; for I cannot but give credit to you, affirming it in your Letters, that your Countrymen complain of you, for favoring and wishing so well vnto it. Indeed, that you wish well, I doubt not at all; but therto I am more perswaded by your word, then by your arguments.
For here you slip from the Order to the Persons of Bishops: of whose Learning, Industrie, Martyrdom, you speak much and excellently. But there were, as you know, of old, men that hated the Tyrant, but not his Tyranny: and why not now, men that love Bishops, but not the Government by Bishops. Pass by the men therfore; it matters not for them; speak of the Order it self. For Calvin himself, and Beza, if they wrote to our Prelates, know, that they wrote likewise to them, whom you call peevish: and that their Letters, which these pretend for their peevishness, are produced by them; and thus they oft reply, To what purpose do I hear Calvins Words, when I see his Deeds? For the Order it self, if it be such as you would have it seem, the Bishops of England cannot make it better, nor of Spain worse. I advis’d you not to transferr the faults of Persons upon Things; and to unlearn your Church that custom.
As for those Antients, whom you worthily call the Light of the Church, and who themselves were Bishops, though you say much, yet you say not enough. For this is not enough, That you would not give sentence against them; That they were not wrongfully made; That they did not usurp an unlawfull Office: These are but terms of diminution, Not give sentence against; Not wrongfully made; not usurpers of an unlawfull Office; speak out, speak as the truth is, That they were lawfully made; (lawfully, if ever any) and did exercise a most lawfull Office: That our, at this day, are to be made after their example: That the same Office is to be exercised by all Ours: These speak home to the Order, are nothing to the Men.
The Second dash of dislike set by His Majestie, and very justly, was at that place, where you contend that the Order of Bishop and Presbyter is one and the same. I have shew’d that it is not the same.II
Both, 1. Because the Offices are not the same. For a Presbyter doth not Ordain; no, not in S. Hieroms iudgment.
As also, 2. Because there is not the same Imposition of hands, but a new one in a Bishop.
Again, 3. Because, among the Fathers, Isidore clearly calls it the Order of Bishops.
And lastly, 4. Because those Two Orders were distinguished by Christ in the Apostles, and the Seventy Two.
Here you produce to us the Title of the Pontifical; which is concerning Consecration, not Ordination. I shew’d that the Antient Bishops, even of Rome it self, spake otherwise; otherwise the later Popes. Among the Antient, that the word Ordination was most usual, and most approved.
You appeal to the Schole. I acquainted you, in what sense the Schole calls them the same, or not the same. The same in reference to the Body of Christ; upon which they terminat their Seven Orders: About the Body of Christ a Presbyter doth as much as a Bishop. You your self say as much: Of these in respect of the Body of Christ, the Church of Rome makes but one Order. Not the same; if you respect the power to a special Act, viz. of Ordination, which is peculiar to a Bishop. This is not mine, as you imagin’d, but the definition of Orders, all the Schole over. Nor yet that difference, which afterward you put upon me: both of them are from the Schole; both definition and difference. These things, if you would speak Scholastically, were not to be deny’d by you, who appeal’d to the Schole.
But to what purpose do you say, that you deal with or, that you dispute against the Pontificians, who will not have the Order of Bishops distinct from that of Presbyters? And yet presently you subjoin: Ought I to inveigh against them, (viz. the Pontificians) because they do not make the Order of Bishops distinct from that of Presbyters, when Our Churches do not make it neither? He that should do this, should not so much contest with the Church of Rome, as with our own. You dispute therfore against them, but yet you will not inveigh against them: you dispute against the Pontificians, and yet you allege their Pontifical. You dispute against them, yet your own Churches do the self same thing. Nor yet will you affirm, what ought to be beleev’d, but what the Church of Rome thinketh: which thinketh the very same that your Church doth; and your Church, I beleeve, you would have to be beleev’d. You do not therfore contest with the Pontificians; for, I trow you have no mind to contest with your own. ‘Twere against your Religion so to do. Nevertheless your Church, as you confess, doth the same thing in this point that the Roman doth.
You say it is best to use proper terms, that the things which differ in substance be distinguished in Name: and yet in the same page, afterward, as if you were somwhat angry, you ask, To what end is it, to stick so much upon the distinction of Words? To what end then is it, to make proper words, which are made proper for no other end, but for distinction? If this be to no end, it is better, trust me, neither to use proper words, nor to make any words at all proper; for we must use the better, both you, and we.
Notwithstanding this, why do you reject the distinction of words, here? Because, every Order (you say) is a Degree. What then? Since every Degree is not an Order, if we will use proper words. Deaconry, in S. Paul, is a Degree; and the same is an Order with all men. But Archdeaconship is a new Degree, and yet no Order. Nor can a Bishop be outed of his Order, but he must be degraded (say you) or fall from his Order. Yea, but he may be degraded, though he be not outed of his Order; for of his Order he can no way be outed. For after (that, which they call) Degradation, there remaineth a power to the Acts of his Order: the use of which power may be inhibited; the power it self cannot be taken away.
But here some scruples arise in your mind. The First is: that every Bishop is a Presbyter: very true that, and confest by all. But a Presbyter, you say, is not a Deacon. Among you, haply, he is not, according to your novell device: But with that Reverend Antiquity (which you speak of) he is: Nay, then, a Bishop himself is a Deacon: Read S. Chrysostom, Even a Bishop was call’d a Deacon; wherupon S. Paul, writing to Timothy, said, Fulfill thy Deaconry; to him, being a Bishop. Whence also it is, that many Bishops now adays write, to my Fellow-Presbyter, to my Fellow-Deacon. Read S. Ambrose, on the 4. to the Ephesians. For all Orders are in a Bishop; because he is the first Priest, i. e. the Prince of Priests. And, on the 1. to the Corinth. 12. Though Apostles be Prophets too; for the first Degree hath all other vnder it. I may truly therefore inferr the contrary; Seing a Bishop differs not from a Presbyter, by any other way of difference, then a Presbyter doth from a Deacon; But a Presbyter differs from a Deacon in his Order; therfore it is agreable, that a Bishop differ from a Presbyter in his Order. This ever seem’d agreable to the consent of Antiquity. I wonder that these things scap’d you: for I dare not suspect, that what are so obvious to all are unknown to you. But the Deaconry, in use among you, deceived you; a meer stranger it, I speak it boldly, to all Antiquity (with whom Deacons were ever one part of the Clergy.)
The Second scruple. That Order is a power to a special Act, I say not of myself; the whole Schole saith so; it is the definition of Order received in the Scholes: speak you, if you have another; for I remember not that I have any where read of any other. Your scruple here ariseth from them, who (say you) are extraordinarily delegated to the performance of certain Acts. I rejoin: What have they who are delegated without Order, to do with Order? The very word Order requireth that this be understood of ordinary power.
The Third dash of dislike was upon your denying Episcopacy to be of Divine Right. You grant it to be of Apostolical. But that serves not you to make it be of Divine Right. No, not among us, who do not observe certain things which were appointed by the Apostles.III
For, 1. not Widows. I read of no command there for the appointing of Widows: but for Ephesus, and those Churches, which had Widows, there is a command touching their Age. The institution of Widows, was left free to every Church. For none were to mantein Widows, unless they would; and, indeed, they could not be manteined among the poorer.
Not, 2. that Custom for three or four to prophecy at one hour. But that Custom was, cleerly, extraordinary; and the extraordinary gifts ceasing, that ceased too.
Not, 3. to abstein from things strangled, & blood. Yea, but that was temporary, not appointed by the Apostles, with any other intention, then, to be in force, during the non-burial of the Synagoge; the Synagoge once buried, to be free, to observe or not.
So your first instance was, not necessary; your second, not ordinary; your third, temporary, not perpetual. These do not make a Divine Right.
But, that the Precepts of the Apostles may not be of Divine Right, you will not have that of Christ, touching shaking off the dust of their feet, to be so, neither. But, in truth, this is no Precept; but, if a Precept, of Divine Right. For, I hope, you will not say that Christ commanded this, using his Prudence, without Divine inspiration. No man ever understood that,
κατὰ ῥητὸν, according to the Letter; and that upon this ground; because it was sometime observed, sometime altered, sometime quite omitted: not according to the Letter, I say, but,
κατὰ tὴν διανόιαν, according to the mind of the speaker. Whose mind was, that such were to be given for desperate, whether with or without using the Ceremony.
But, be more sparing, I pray, of that point, of the Apostles oftimes using their prudence. For it cannot be said or writ without great danger, that the Apostles in some things had Divine Inspiration, in the rest did often use their own prudence; and that in their writings which are extant. For even that very place, where
κατὰ γνωμὴν is, according to my judgment, you know, is concluded with [
Δοκῶ δὲ κἀγὼ τὸ πνεῦμα Θεοῦ ἔχειν] But I think also that I have the Spirit of God. so that his very
γνωμὴ, his judgment had the dictate therof, from the Spirit of God. As for that place, which you quote, if it were not written by Divine inspiration, but by humane prudence, we are to score it for Apocryphal. How then? are we for making an Index, and for Expurging the New Testament? For separate we must the pretious from the vile. What were dictated by humane prudence will never stand in conjunction with those which were by Divine inspiration.
But, although there be weight enough to confirm this cause, from the Right and maner of the Apostles, yet, you may remember, that I deriv’d this distinction of Orders higher, viz. from Christ our Saviour in the Apostles, and Seventy-Two Disciples. That it is every where among the Fathers, and clearly confessed by them, that Bishops succeeded the Apostles, and Presbyters the seventy Two. I cited Cyprian; But Deacons must remember, how our Lord chose Apostles, i. e. Bishops and Prelates; but the Apostles, after the Ascension of our Lord, appointed to themselves Deacons, as ministers of their Episcopacy, and of the Church. That those Seven were instituted, Acts VI. by the Apostles; but no Presbyters, but after the example of the Seventy Two; nor Bishops, but after their own pattern. This Order therfore hath the strength and sinews therof, not only from the Apostles, but even from our Saviour himself.
Would you have me fetch it yet higher? even out of the Old Testament, and there from the Divine Law it self? S. Hierom doth: And that we may know that the Apostolical traditions were taken out of the Old Testament; what Aaron, and his Sons, and the Levites were in the Temple, that do Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons challeng to themselves in the Church. S. Ambrose doth, in both those places, 1. Corinth. 12. and Ephes. 4. speaking of the Jews, Whose tradition, saith he, hath passed over to us. I omitt Aaron; lest you should reject him, as a Type of Christ. Over his Sons, the Priests, was there not in their several families
נשיא. i. e. a Prelate; or, as is said † elswhere,
פקיר i. e. a Bishop. Over the Gersonites. Num. 3.24. Over the Kohathites. vers. 30. Over the Merarites. verse 35. Was not Eleazar there, even while his Father was alive,
נשיא נשיאים, as if you would say, Prelate of Prelates. verse 32. Who is elsewhere called
נכיר פקיר as if you would say, Archbishop. There are therefore in the Law,
לויים ,כהנים ,נשיאים, i. e. Prelates or Bishops, Priests, and Levites: In the Gospel, The Apostles, the Seventy Two, and those Seven, Acts VI. In the Apostles practise, which was taken from those Two [the Law and Gospel] Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons. But do not, do not think, that this was by Apostolical Right alone; if there be in the Gospel, if in the Law, any Divine Right, this Government is not without example in both, it is founded on both. Either then there is no Divine Right in the form of Church Government, and then wellfare Amsterdam, where so many humane prudences as there are, so many forms of Government shall be set up. Or, if there be any Divine Right, it is in Those Three, it is for us.
And now to your skirmishes of lighter consideration. That I know, what useth to be answered, by the Vulgar, concerning Timothy and Titus. Add this too, that I know, that many things are ill answered by the Vulgar. But what is answered by the Vulgar? that they were Evangelists. Who affirms this? either the Vulgar, or they that, out of some mans novel device, have spread these doubtfull speeches among the Vulgar. For none of the Antients ever spake so; no History can witness it. But History doth witness, that Timothy and Titus were Bishops. Epiphanius, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Hierom, Theodoret say it. That they were Evangelists no man ever said, wrote, or dream’d, before our Age. This Vulgar answer is a Vulgar forgery.
Therfore, whether Evangelists were superior or inferior to Bishops, it’s nothing to us; since these, by no means, were Evangelists. Who saith so? S. Chrysostom. But I am to mind you, that he corrects what he had spoken, with some diffidence, there, concerning Evangelists. For that nothing can be collected out of that place, Ephes. 4. concerning the Priority of any. But we may fetch it from another Epistle, 1. Corinth. 12. 28. where we have,
πρῶτον, δεύτερον, τρίτον first, second, third: But Evangelists appear not there. Besides that they, whom you, with the Vulgar, would have to be counted Evangelists (Timothy, and Titus) are from thence placed among the Pastors,
ὁλόκλερον ἐμπεπιςτευμήνους ἔθνος, intrusted with the care of their several Provinces, and in general of all, but not among Evangelists. Aquila and Priscilla are to him Evangelists: that I cannot but wonder, what you meant to mention that place. For, from that place of S. Paul, 2. Timoth. 4. 5. if you will hear S. Chrysostom, you shall assoon make Timothy but a Deacon, from the fulfilling [
διακονίας] of the Deaconship, as an Evangelist, from the work of an Evangelist. Do not you therfore make such a disjunction, either Bishop, or Evangelist. Evangelists they were never reputed by any, but some, I know not who, two or three days ago, whom any upstart device pleaseth better, then reverend Antiquity. Do we give credit to Antiquity? They were Bishops, they had Bishops their successors, their heirs both in Superiority and Power.
Τύραννος εἶναι μᾶλλον ἢ τύραννα δρᾶν.
To be a Tyrant, and not to tyrannize.
That Aerius was put in the black book of Hereticks (and worthily) whosoever shall beleeve Epiphanius, Philastrius, or S. Augustine, must needs confess. And you that condemn Aerius, upon what consideration do you condemn him? What, because he oppos’d himself to the consent of the Catholike Church? He that is of the same opinion doth not he also oppose himself? and is to be condemn’d upon the same consideration? But, if there be any error, so it be not with obstinacy of mind, though he think as Aerius did, his cause will be far from what the cause of Aerius was. Do not you therfore betake yourself to those tragical expressions of damning to the pit of Hell, of giving sentence of damnation against your Church, as against her that treads under foot the Divine Right. Ther’s no necessity of that. Weigh only calmly what is spoken. To vote that a thing were so, is not to devote, if it be not. A wish is no sentence of damnation. To want somewhat that is of Divine Right, is not to tread under foot the Divine Right. Let but obstinacy and perversness be wanting, it will be no heresy. And, if it be heresy, (being about a point of Discipline) it will not be among those, which S. Peter calls
αἱρέσεις ἀπωλείας, damnable heresies.
But far be it from me that I should drive you to any streits. For neither would I have you hold your peace, being so provoked by the Iesuit. Nay, but write, by al means write: but yet, when you write, so mantein your own, that you pinch not upon, I say not, other mens matters which belong not to you; yes, which somewhat concern you: (for our affairs are not meer strangers to you.) And, see, heer’s a larg field for you, wherin you may shew the sharpness of your, wit, (which indeed is excellent.) But do not, do not hope that you can
ἐπαμφοτερίζειν, play on both sides. Your own will complain of you; Ours need no such defence; So you will loose the thanks of either side.
But, although these things be evidently enough conteined in Holy Scriptures, to any whose eye is single, yet is not that Principle so, as you have laid it. For, not what belong to Divine Right, but what belong to Faith, and Good manners [are evidently enough conteined.] But these are not adaequate to Divine Right.
Howbeit, you might well, you might have wrote (as you speak) exactly, had you begun, not where the words were promiscuous, but, where the Things being always distinct, the signification of the words began likewise to be distinct. It was possible for you to have absteined from words aequivocal, confused, and promiscuously taken; nor did any necessity enforce you to begin there.
You might also have balk’d all occasion of diverting to us. Your design was touching Bishops: you were to treat of them, and of the Office it self. Of the Bishops of England to what purpose? Doth England make that lawfull, which out of England is unlawfull? The abuses of men, wherever they are, must be taxed: the office it self, in what country soever, is the same; of it self, in it self, by it self lawfull: Nor, if the Bishops be not good, is the Office of Bishops not good: Yea but let the Office of Bishops be, let Them be no Bishops, unless they make good their Name.* * *
Somwhat I added, afterward, concerning the novel, upstart name of Calling: and so of Pastors; (as they are now in use with you.) Touching that of Calling, you do not deny but that it is vnusual: you used, I suppose a
μειώσει, the figure of extenution; for it is so unusual, that it is not at all. Calling, indeed, is sometime used for the Office; for Ordination, never. But neither do you deny what I observed touching that word, Pastors. Nor do you produce any, either among those Antients, or the later Writers, before our Age, that was so call’d, viz. a Pastor, who was not, indeed, a Bishop. Only, I know not how, you heap up many things together, but all beside the matter: that you seem not in them neither to have reach’d my meaning. For, what if I grant all that you allege? That your flocks are not without a Pastor ; (as it seemeth good to you to stile him: ) That all you say out of S. Paul, S. Peter, the Prophets is true: What are these to me? who only say that the Antients spake thus; that that other name is not from Antiquity. I recall you therfore to this; That, among the Antient Christians in former ages, you shew me out of their writings, where the word Pastor was ever used, and they spake not of the Bishop: or, that it was used (as with you it is) of a Parish Priest. Prevail thus far with your self, as to shew this; for, unless you do this, you do nothing to the purpose.
But yet see, of what force those things are, that you brought there. For S. Paul doth not say there, that Presbyters [ did pascere ] were Pastors: this He saith, Wherein the Holy Ghost hath made you Bishops [ pascere ] to feed [ to be Pastors over ] the Church of God. Saint Paul’s Pastor therfore is a Bishop. And, lest you should think that the name Bishop is to be taken, there, appellatively ( as if you would say, Such as have the Cure of ) not properly; behold, the Syriack Interpreter himself retains the Greek word † ; when the Syriack wants not a word of her own, by which to express, [ Such as haue the Cure of. ]
And so also S. Peters Pastor. 1. Epist. 5. chap. 2. v. For I wholly doubt, whether that place, of S. Peter, belong to inferior Presbyters. For He addeth there ( as you know )
ἐπισκοποῦντες, being Bishops over them: so that He also conjoins [
τὸ ἐπισκοπεῖν ] being Bishops, with [
τῷ ποιμαίνειν ] being Pastors. That word indeed I stand not upon. That which follows there [ not Lording it over the Clergy ] doth plainly evince, that they, to whom S. Peter wrote this, had
κῦρος, power and authority over the Clergy: otherwise, that
κατακυριεύειν that Domineering and Lording over them could not possibly be apply’d to them. Wherfor S. Peters Pastor must needs be a Bishop. And who indeed can doubt of this, seing the conjunction of those two words took the first rise from S. Peter.
For, wheras you inferr that the Word of God is [ Pabulum ] food: that therfore they, who administer this food, do [ pascere ] feed: I shall easily grant you, that feed they do, that is, βόσκειν, but not therefore
ποιμαίνειν, whence cometh
Ποιμένος, as you know, i. e. Pastor ; who, over and above the food of the Word, administer somewhat else beside.
But what you bring from that place to the Ephesians, chap. 4. are either uncertain; For 1. One will have Pastors and Doctors to be all one. 2. Another maketh no mention of Pastors. 3. A Third thinketh that Readers are Pastors. I shall speak of them all.
1. To S. Augustine, Pastor and Doctor are no otherwise the same, then Order and Degree were, to us, a little before. Every Order a Degree, but not every Degree an Order: so every Pastor is a Doctor, but not every Doctor a Pastor. Who saith this? Saint Hierom.
2. Of him, who makes no mention, there, of Pastors, nor will I make mention. The Monks are better inclin’d, commonly, to Treatisers, then to Bishops.
3. For S. Ambrose, who understood Bishops in Apostles; Presbyters in Prophets; Deacons in Evangelists; no wonder, if at last he fell upon Readers, when he had none beside them, to whom, after those Three, he might referr them.
Thus, say I, either vncertain they are: or, when they are Certain they make against you. By name, S. Chrysostom; Who defineth Pastors to be they, to whom was committed (
το ἔθνος ) the generality of the people. Are your so? And he adds who were such, as Timothy, saith he, and Titus; who were both Bishops in S. Chrysostoms account: and, I beleeve, in your account, they were more then Presbyters, labouring in the Word.
Yet remains what you glanc’d at, out of the Prophets. Which places if any do accurately consider, he shall find, that not only the high Priests, but also the Prophets and Levites, upon whom the Office of teaching lay, were called by the name of Pastors. Doubtless, he shall. Add moreover ; he shall find Princes in the State, and Magistrates often, nay oftner a great deal, to be called by the name of Pastors, then all them put together, whom you set down. And yet we do not call Princes by the name of Pastors. Nor do I think that at Geneva he is call’d a Pastor who is the chief Magistrate. The Pastors therfore in the Prophets reach not home to this. Tell me, who of the Antients ever spake so; otherwise we are beside the cushion.
Lastly, that seem’d to me a wondrous strange opposition. Indeed it is not by the Antients; but we Frenchmen speak so. For, must the Antients speak as the French; or the French as the Antient Christians? And you run upon the same rock again, afterward. The Presbyters who labour in the Word, whom we Frenchmen call Ministers. For it’s strange, how it became lawfull for Frenchmen, to put upon a Presbyter that name, which never any among the Antients used, but for a Deacon. I speak not this otherwise, but that even among us too, that bad fashion is taken up, of calling them Ministers, and Pastors too. But these words were brought in by them, who best relish any upstart fashion; but against their mind who reverence Antiquity; and, as they may, disclaim these usages. For we suffer, as I said, many things, which we teach not; and bear with that which we cannot take away. But he, that but bears with a thing, loves it not, though he loves to bear with it.
And now you have an Answer to your Letters, so far as my occasions give me leave. For I have not the happiness of much leasure. But although I read none of yours unwillingly, yet I read no passage more willingly, then that last, wherin you profess, How desirous you are of peace, how glad you should be that all the Reformed Churches, who are united by one Faith, were united by one and the same bond of Ecclesiastical Government. Which is likewise my earnest and hearty prayer: and I daily begg it humbly of God, that they may be united in the same Form of Church Policy, by the bond of Ecclesiastical Government; but that same which derives its pedegree from the very infancy of the Church; from which, the Reverend Antiquity of the First Ages; which whosoever opposeth, opposeth himself to all Antiquity; which Saint James the Apostle began in the Church of Hierusalem, from whom the succession of Bishops in a long course descended; which condemned Aerius, for daring to oppose himself against the Consent and Practise of the Catholik Church; which all Churches every where received.
S. Ignatius in Epistola ad Magnesianos.
Ώσπερ ο Κύριος άνευ του Πατρός ουδέν ποιεί, ουτω και ημείς άνευ του Επισκόπου, μηδέ Πρεσβύτερος, μηδέ Διάκονος, μηδέ λαϊκός. Μηδέ τι φαινέσθω υμίν εύλογον παρά την εκείνου γνώμην. το γαρ τοιούτον παράνομον και Θεού εχθρόν.